They make up over 75% of your daily food intake while giving many foods their flavor and taste.
Whether snacking, drizzling, or cooking, how much do you know about the keto diet fats and oils most beneficial to your successful keto plan?
First, Don’t Be Overwhelmed
When you start eating a keto diet, it can often feel overwhelming to consider a diet made up of 75% fats and oils.
And it doesn’t help when you see something negative about the keto diet — it usually has something to do with the amount of fat in the diet (although they are usually talking about animal fat).
The key to a successful keto experience as well as improved health is to focus on healthy monounsaturated fats and avoid most polyunsaturated fats (and any trans-fats).
Let’s take a look at three categories of fats for the keto diet: oils, fats, and foods high in fat. We’ll also throw in some tips to help you find additional fat sources during your day.
Monounsaturated and some polyunsaturated fats are in the healthy oils for the keto diet you want to eat and cook with.
They are not only perfect keto diet fats, but they also can help reduce blood pressure, combat inflammation, and help to eliminate belly fat.
Everyone’s go-to favorite — olive oil is great for cooking and dressing salads or cooked vegetables and is one of the best oils for the keto diet.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) has tons of antioxidants, over 80% monounsaturated fats, and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon, making it perfect for the keto diet.
Try keeping a bottle of light EVOO next to the stove to cook with and another bottle of really good olive oil for making vinaigrettes and splashing on foods as a finishing oil.
There are good oils available with fruity, grassy, or peppery finishes that don’t have to break the bank (we’re looking at you Trader Joe’s Spanish Olive Oil @ $6.99 bottle).
Keto Diet Tip: Try infusing your EVOO with herbs (rosemary or thyme), fruits (lemon or fig), or spice it up with chilis for interesting alternatives.
One thing about EVOO, it has a low smoke point, so it isn’t your best choice to use for high-heat frying or sauteing. Better to stick with a higher smoke point oil, like Avocado Oil, or try
‘light’ or ‘pure’ olive oil that withstands heat better than EVOO.
Extracted from the pulp of avocados, this oil is perfect for cooking, searing, and frying with a high smoke point of 520○.
This workhorse is perfect for high heat cooking as well as vinaigrettes and doesn’t have to be refrigerated once open.
Unlike some oils, avocado oil is high in vitamins A, E, and D, as well as potassium. It also improves nutrient absorption and promotes better cholesterol levels.
And like EVOO and most other fats, avocado oil has 14 grams of healthy fats per tablespoon.
Solid when cold, coconut oil is between 80% and 90% saturated fats (now considered the good fats by many) and has around 50% medium-chain triglycerides.
There has been controversy surrounding coconut oil for some time and you have to decide if it is one of the best oils for the keto diet.
If you have concerns about coconut oil, it may be best to use MCT oil in place of coconut oil to get the full benefits.
Popular among bodybuilders and athletes, MCT Oil is extracted from coconut oil and is made up of medium-chain triglycerides (or fats).
It’s potentially good for promoting weight loss and that may be because it encourages the feeling of fullness, so you eat less.
It can also easily be converted into ketones for people on the ketogenic diet and maybe a better option than using regular coconut oil.
Keto Diet Tip: Bulletproof coffee is a great way to boost your energy and get an extra source of good keto diet fats into your diet. Try this recipe:
- Brew black coffee (you’ll need 10–12 ounces for this recipe)
- Grass-fed butter or ghee (1 tablespoon)
- MCT oil (1 teaspoon to start, then you can build up as you are comfortable)
Add fats to your coffee and blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
Try Hazelnut Oil, Walnut Oil, or Macadamia Oil to add flavor to foods, or try in keto diet fat bombs to add a nutty flavor to your go-to snacks.
Nut oils tend to be higher in flavor and essential fatty acids than olive oil or avocado oil.
They also work well in baking and in marinades and pestos.
Oils to Avoid
It goes without saying that there are oils you want to avoid.
Partially or fully hydrogenated oils are unhealthy oils and should be avoided as fats for the keto diet.
- Corn Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Canola Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
Most solid fats you want to stay away from including margarine, vegetable shortening, and suet or salt pork.
All things from your grandmother’s pantry, many solid fats are considered unhealthy fats and best avoided.
Grass-fed raw butter is made from the milk/cream of grass-fed cows and has zero carbs, sugars, or protein — it’s pure clean fat.
It is one of the best keto diet fats to eat, plus you can feel good about supporting the ethical treatment of animals.
Cows are physiologically designed to eat grass and they process it more naturally as opposed to the feed they eat in factory-farmed situations.
But be sure it says grass-fed and not just organic.
Organic means it doesn’t have any pesticides but doesn’t ensure a grass-fed diet.
Keto Diet Tip: Try Butter Biscuits made with butter and topped with — you guessed it — butter! Shhh!!! Our biscuit mix has 16 grams of fat and 2 grams of net carbs.
Sanskrit for clarified butter, Ghee has been used in India for centuries.
It’s made by heating butter to separate the water and the milk solids (sugars and protein) leaving behind pure butterfat (similar to grass-fed butter).
Shelf-stable and great tasting, a tablespoon of Ghee is high in fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and K and about 12 grams of saturated fat.
It also is great for cooking with a high smoke point at 485○, which is much higher than butter at 350○.
Duck Fat, Lard, or Tallow
Animal fats that should be used sparingly, duck fat, lard (pork fat), and tallow (beef fat) can add flavor to fried and cooked foods, especially meats and some vegetables.
You may have also heard of leaf lard, but don’t think you are trying a plant-based product. Leaf lard is from the pork ‘leaf’ of internal fat and has a milder, more subtle taste.
You have to be careful with animal fats because while they are high in fat, they also contain protein and cholesterol, as well as sodium when processed.
The perfect keto diet fat! For all the reasons avocado oil is great, avocado fruit is even better.
You can smash for guacamole, add it to smoothies, or cook an egg in a halved avocado for a low net-carb treat.
Plus, avocados provide vitamin C and K, folate, and potassium.
You can’t ask for more from a fruit that’s as versatile as this one and provides healthy fats for the keto diet.
Keto Diet Tip: Next time you’re feeling deprived because you can’t have that favorite avocado toast for brunch, try a golden wheat bread mix to bake up some fresh bread with only 2 net carbs per slice and slather on that mashed avocado.
Nuts — all types of nuts, nut butters, nut granola (14 grams of healthy fats and 2 grams of net carbs) are perfect little fats for the keto diet.
They can be portable as a snack or sprinkled on almost anything.
Try glazed walnuts or pecans for a sweet treat loaded with healthy fats (14 grams of fats, 1 gram of net carbs).
Like olive oil, olives are packed with heart-healthy saturated fats, but they also have that mouth-watering briny-ness that makes them so hard to resist at the buffet table.
They also contain plant compounds that help to reduce inflammation that adds to chronic conditions, including heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.
There are tons of ways to add fat to your keto diet with olives — from tapenades to marinades to salads.
Or try them stuffed with blue cheese, almonds, or garlic cloves.
To Finish Up
If you’ve started on the keto diet journey, don’t let the number of fats you need to consume feel like an insurmountable task.
It’s easy when you use an ever-revolving assortment of fats that typically add additional flavor to any dish.
Read our blog for more tips and ideas and try our products that all have minimal net carbs on old favorites.
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